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1 Volume 18, Issue 2 February 2015 2 MEMBERSHIP CORNER 20 15 Officers President John Marnell Vice President Fran Elgin Treasurer Lorena Gragg Recording Secretary Nick Lamb Corresponding Secretary Marcy Taylor Past President John Bascom Directors: Mary Dutro Tim Baggerly Linda Chapman Newsletter Still Vacant Membership/director at large Andrea M. Gutierrez Share your newsletter with a friend! If you have something to con- tribute to the newsletter E-mail it to email@example.com **MEMBERSHIP* *CORNER* As of 2/4/15 ~NEWMEMBER~ Patricia Bridgers Apl Vly Thank-you for your continued support! *Membership is now by calendar year* The end of the year has come and gone which means if you haven’t re- newed your member- ship your dues are now delinquent. Please re- new this month. Share your newsletter with a friend! Better yet bring a friend to the next meeting Feb. 26th. Dues/Memberships: Lifetime Single $150.00, Lifetime Family $200.00, Yearly dues for Jan-Dec 2015 Family/Couple $30, Single $20 For membership questions call Andrea or contact her at the meeting. 760 961 2731 3 Feb. 26 General Meeting speaker will be Cliff Bandringa. His topic will be Death Valley Mining. Feb. 28 Field Trip. To be determined. March 26 General Meeting Pam MacKay will be giving a presentation on "The history of botanical exploration in our desert". March 28 Field Trip. To be determined. April 23 General Meeting Fran Elgin will give a talk on Rancho Yucca Loma "The Ce- lebrity Guest Ranch and Hol- lywood Hideaway." April 25 Field Trip. To be determined. May 28 General Meeting Steve & Patrice Demory will speak about "Thaddeus Lowe and the U.S. Balloon Corps" May 30 Field Trip. To be determined. Events for 2015 If you are not a life member and your name is not listed below please see Andrea at this months meeting to renew. JOYCE DeGARMO, HESPERIA MARVIN GRAHAM, APL VLY JERRY HUTCHINSON, APL VLY ADRIENNE & FORD SHERI- DAN, HELENDALE GRETA SMITH, APL VLY MARCY TAYLOR, DEY’NELLE& JADA, APPLE VALLEY MEMBERSHIP CORNER Thursty Thursday The third Thursday of the month, which is a week before the Historical Society meet- ing, will resume in May when the weather should be a little more conducive for an out- door get-together. The previ- ous get-togethers in October and November have been really nice with about a dozen folks in attendance. Please feel free to bring a friend or two. Hope to see you in May. 4 George & Bob Montgomery Coming from Canada via Iowa, George was the first of the broth- ers to arrive on the scene in search of the Lost Breyfogle, which was a lost ledge of gold back then. It was the early 1890s. Soon, the other two brothers followed and developed their first mines north of Pahrump, Nevada, just east of Death Valley. Next, the brothers began developing digs in southern Death Valley. This site can be seen on older maps today as the site of Confidence Mill. After lackluster results from the two sites, the brothers set their sites on Pleasant Canyon in the Panamint Mountains. They de- veloped the World Beater Mine causing the creation of the supply town of Ballarat in 1897. Bob Montgomery was one of the first people on the scene of the huge Bullfrog gold strike near present-day Beatty, Nevada. He bought some of the claims, which just happened to have the best pay dirt and the rich Montgomery Shoshone Mine was born, just outside of the soon-to-be-bustling town of Rhyolite. The last big hit for the brothers was the mines of Skidoo, again located high in the Panamint Mountains. Mining went on here for ten years. Bob Montgomery became a true millionaire on ac- count of his gold mining efforts, but in the end, all of the Mont- gomery brothers lived out their remaining lives with little money to show. 5 Another Local Gold Story Soil pipes made of gold! This is no Arabian Nights tale. These pipes were made in the Los Angeles pottery works of one Ezra Hamilton. Actually, the pipes were not solid gold, but the same clay that went into their manufacture came from pits that subse- quently yielded up $8,000,000 of the precious metal. It was in the 1880s and Los Angeles was enjoying a building boom. The de- mand for Ezra's pipe grew by leaps and bounds. His one big problem— to assure himself of a dependable source of raw mate- rial—he solved by acquiring his own clay pits. These were lo- cated 50 miles to the northeast near the town of Rosamond. The purchase price is not known, but there are records of earlier land sales in the area for as little as 50c an acre. Although the same clay is still there, these pits are no longer known as clay pits; they are called Burton's Tropico Hill and are occupied by a gold mine that was one of the nation's most productive until mining opera- tions ceased in 1956. Ezra continued to use his superlative quality fire clay to make his superlative quality soil pipe. His business flourished with an ever -increasing demand for his products until the early 90's. Although he had tried his hand at gold mining in earlier years, it took a na- tional depression to cause Ezra to wonder if his superlative qual- ity fire clay might possibly be ultra- superlative. Business at the pottery works fell off and Ezra, with more time on his hands, oc- cupied himself with a close examination of his clay. He panned some of the material and found shiny yellow specks. Testing proved them gold! From then on, Ezra spent more time at clay pit and less time at his pottery works. He panned in various parts of his holdings for over two years, but the results were indifferent. The gold was there, but the yield did not encourage a profitable operation. The above article appeared in the October 1964 issue of the De- sert Magazine and was written by Leslie Tillinghast. 6 IMAGES OF THE PAST What could these people be so interested in on a very chilly after- noon during a field trip in November 2003? If you don’t know you will need to ask somebody in the picture because the object is now gone thanks to a brochure being pub- lished identifying the object and location. It was chiseled off by somebody wanting it for personal reasons. A Little History Trivia THE MAYFLOWER COMPACT was the first written Constitu- tion in North America. It was written in 1620 by Pilgrims just before landing at Plymouth rock and remained the fundamental law of the Plymouth colony until the late seventeenth century. 7 ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP February 15, 2015 At the Victor Valley Museum - 12:30-3:00 p.m. $10.00 admission. Seating will be limited. Please call 760-961-9343 for more information. The presenter will be Dr. Cora Granata from the Center for Oral and Public History at California State University, Full- erton. Sponsored by the Mohahve Historical Society. Subjects covered: Importance of oral history Contacting potential interviewees How to prepare an oral history project Questions to ask Recording equipment Archival preservation of oral history materials Handouts and Refreshments are included. Send $10 to reserve a seat at the workshop to: Rhonda Almager, VVM Facility Manager Victor Valley Museum 11873 Apple Valley Road Apple Valley CA 92308 Make check out to "Victor Valley Museum." Local Activities 8 Rainbow Basin San Bernardino County North of Barstow, this series of outcrops of multicolored lake sediments were laid down about 16 million years ago during the unsurprisingly named Barstovian period, when the desert was much wetter. You can take a slow ride through the basin's dirt roads, or get out at the Owl Canyon campground and hike up the slot canyon. Fossils abound in the area, but be sure to admire them where they sit and leave them for others to enjoy. How to get there: From Downtown Barstow, travel north on First Avenue across the Mojave River. Turn left on Irwin Road. After 6 miles, turn left on the graded dirt Fossil Bed Road and follow the signs. Local Attractions s made of gold! This is no Arabian Nights tale. These pipes were made in the Los Angeles pottery works of one Ezra Hamilton. Actually, the pipes were not solid gold, but the same clay that went into their manufacture came from pits that subse- qu